In human blood, platelets play a critical role in wound healing, allowing the blood to clot, stemming the wound. But platelets actually have a much larger role in wound healing and skin rejuvenation. Blood platelets contain fundamental protein growth factors.
Platelet-rich plasma puts that skin rejuvenation power to work. It’s a process where a small sample of a person’s blood is taken, and then the platelets, plasma, and white blood cells are separated out to create a dense serum rich in healing and skin rejuvenation qualities.
At Austin Cosmetic Surgery, we incorporate platelet-rich plasma into a variety of rejuvenation procedures: facial skin rejuvenation, acne treatment, scar revision, and even topical hair restoration.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) simply takes a typical blood sample and removes the red blood cells. What is left is concentrated blood platelets, white blood cells, and plasma — platelet-rich plasma. This is now a powerful healing serum that is fueled by seven growth factors. In the body, growth factors are the messengers between cells, signaling the cells to perform their different functions. In wound healing, they initiate various healing processes.
You may have heard of professional football players using platelet-rich plasma to speed healing after an injury or surgery. That’s because, once distilled and concentrated down to the core healing elements of the blood, PRP has powerful healing properties. At Austin Cosmetic Surgery we use PRP to “heal” problems such as sun damage, acne scarring, and stretch marks, and to address the decreasing volume that is a part of normal aging. Once we have the PRP, Dr. Michelle Carlotti & Dr. Albert Carlotti can inject it into the upper layers of the skin across the treatment areas, such as an area of acne scarring or under-eye hollows.
In the last few years, it was discovered that PRP was effective for treating men and women who are suffering hair loss. For people with thinning hair, more and more of their hair follicles are entering and staying in the dormant phase. When PRP is injected into the scalp in the area of thinning, its growth factors and other healing qualities are able to kick start dormant hair follicles back to the anagen/growth phase of the hair lifecycle. Those areas that have been thinning can begin to regrow hair and fill back in.
No matter what type of rejuvenation we’re helping patients with, the process of creating the platelet-rich plasma is the same. It only takes a few minutes. We begin by taking a small amount of blood from you, about the same amount used for a typical lab test. That blood is then placed in a centrifuge that spins at a high rate and separates the different components of the blood. Red blood cells are divided out from the platelets and the plasma (the clear fluid that makes blood liquid). This plasma now contains a higher than a normal number of platelets (four times higher), white blood cells, and plasma and is called platelet-rich plasma. This serum now has real value for skin rejuvenation, including on the scalp where it can return dormant hair follicles to grow.
Everyone has sun damage. Living in sunny Austin, sun damage is a fact of life. Aging also conspires to lower our body’s collagen production, which allows the skin to thin and become more prone to volume loss and the development of lines and creases. Bottom line? Everyone could use the skin-boosting/healing properties of platelet-rich plasma.
PRP can be used to return the volume to faces that are beginning to look drawn due to volume loss. It will plump out cheek indentations, soften under eye hollows, and improve the skin tone, tightness, and texture. It is also effective for addressing fine lines, discoloration, acne scars, and stretch marks.
And because PRP uses your own blood as its base, reactions are non-existent, making our Austin Cosmetic Surgery PRP procedures ultimately safe and easy to take.
If you are experiencing hair loss, you’re basically a good candidate for PRP hair restoration at Austin Cosmetic Surgery. It’s better to not wait, however. That’s because the growth factors in PRP work best when awakening recently dormant hair follicles. These hair follicles are still healthy and capable of growing hair, but they are spending more and more time in the resting phase.
If that sounds like you, then PRP could be a great option to stop your hair loss and start regrowing new hair. But there are two groups who cannot have PRP: If you have an underlying disorder such as thyroid disease or lupus. These conditions will continue to cause hair loss over time. If you are taking blood thinners, PRP is not as effective.
When we inject PRP into a patient’s facial skin or the scalp, these injections are not made at any great depth. The goal is to simply allow the PRP easier penetration of the outer epidermis. These injection sites don’t require any healing or any recovery. You may have some redness and slight swelling, but this resolves within a few hours.
Another great aspect of PRP that our patients in Austin and Scottsdale love are that it is created using the patient’s own blood. That means the body can’t have any adverse reactions to PRP injections.
These are great treatments to have in the afternoon so that you can return home rather than head back to work or the gym. That way any redness or sensitivity at the injection sites will be gone overnight.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about PRP therapy please contact us for a consultation at 480.947.7700 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.